South Korea’s women’s curling team extended its winning streak to five games and secured a path to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic semifinals. This is the first time the country has advanced to the Olympic semifinals in curling.
Kim Eun-jung, Kim Kyeong-ae, Kim Seon-yeong, Kim Cho-hi and Kim Yeong-mi _ “Team Kim” _ beat the United States 9-6 in the round robin preliminaries at the Gangneung Curling Center, Tuesday.
South Korea has won six games with one loss. They won five consecutive games after losing to Japan in the second round robin match, Feb. 15.
Sweden, Britain and Japan are currently in the top four with five wins, followed closely by the U.S. and China with four wins.
South Korea, ranked world No. 8, beat countries with stronger medal prospects, including world No. 1 Canada, No.2 Switzerland, No.4 Great Britain and No.5 Sweden.
Up to the fourth end, South Korea was behind the U.S. 2-3, but turned the game around by scoring four points in the fifth end. After that, they maintained the lead and finished the match 9-6.
“I am happy to have rewritten the history of South Korean curling,” Kim Seon-yeong said after the match. “I will make a bigger history in the remaining matches.”
The players have remained stoic throughout their past victories. But they were different after Tuesday’s match against the U.S., as they could not help but grin.
“There are still two games remaining in the preliminaries and we have to play the semifinals, where we want to do our best,” said Seon-yeong, 24. “We will not be satisfied right now but will keep doing our best.”
There are prospects that South Korea, if they maintain their current top rank, would wield a higher hand against the No.4 ranking team in the semis and have good odds of winning the match as well. But Seon-yeong disagreed with such a rosy prediction.
“There are so many good teams that even a team that has qualified for the semis with the lowest rank can beat the top-qualifier often. It is important to play every match at our best.”
She gave a heads-up to fans in the audience seats, saying their cheering may or may not help them.
“Whenever we pulled off tricky draws, fans cheered out loud, making us think, we actually did it,” Seon-yeong said. “But our teammate Eun-jung gets easily distracted by such cheers. I appreciate if they could turn the volume down a little.”
Source: THE KOREA TIMES